With about two months to go until the start of Training Camp, much of what happens now I will attempt to class-up by calling sophisticated speculation. And it’s all part of the fun, after all. So, without further ado, here is the 14th installment of the Chicago Bears Huddle reader Q&A:
A lot of the news coming out of minicamp is about how the players are performing. But how has new head coach Marc Trestman done? – George O’Brien, via Twitter
Let me preface this by saying that we will have a much better look at Trestman when camp opens for business in July. But, based on what we saw in minicamp, I’d say that he is more hands-on and vocal than some folks expected. He’s not quite the reserved, cerebral Xs and Os pigskin virtuoso we caricatured him as. So, that was at least one observation.
As for the implementation of offense, we saw the makings of a zone blocking, west-coast base. Jay Cutler was getting the ball out quickly on three- and five-step drops, targeting receivers between the numbers. Many have questioned whether or not Jay Cutler is the best fit for that type of offense — I tend to think he is not — but what I want to ultimately see Trestman do is blend his style with Cutler’s skill-set. We haven’t seen it yet, but we may very well not see the secret stuff until gameday.
Do you have any idea why Jay Cutler always pops his shoulder prior to the snap? – Richie in Salt Lake, via Twitter
It’s something Cutler has been doing since his days at Vanderbilt and nothing to worry about in terms of the condition of his shoulder. I suppose you could call it a compulsive tic, but I kind of think it adds to his attitude and persona.
Earl Bennett was actually asked about it once and told the Chicago Tribune this: “Everybody always asks me what’s wrong with him. I mean, even my family back at home. And I just say, ‘He’s fixing his shoulder pads.’ But he has been doing it forever.” So, make of that what you will.
How many safeties do you think the Bears will carry and who will they be, if you had to predict? – Steve Smith, via Twitter
My guess would be five. And based on who’s currently on the roster, I’ll go with Chris Conte, Major Wright, Craig Steltz, Brandon Hardin and Anthony Walters. The other guys on the roster are Tom Zbikowski, Cyhl Quarles and Tom Nelson. I haven’t seen enough of the rookie and have little faith in Zbikowski or Nelson pushing for a spot with Jon Hoke still in place as DBs coach.
This is, of course, an admittedly bad time to make this prediction. Talk to me after a week or two of Training Camp.
Who do you think will develop into a starter first, Khaseem Greene or Jon Bostic? – Paul Frano, via Facebook
I think the favorite there is Bostic. Not only because of his ability but because of the situation that each is going into. The Bears see Greene as more of an outside linebacker, and realistically, I think it might be tough for Greene to push veteran James Anderson right away on the strong side, but he will be asked to contribute on special teams immediately.
Bostic could find himself in a position to push D.J. Williams for the starting middle linebacker spot, however, and Phil Emery did voluntarily say he would be given the opportunity to earn a starting role. The Bears love his leadership qualities and feel like they got first-round value in Bostic.
If you were to project the depth chart on both sides of the ball, how many spots are currently open and how many are set? – Ben Rieck, via Facebook
I’d say that currently there are open positions at LG, RG, RT, TE, MLB, SAM, DT and DE. There are certainly favorites to win many of those jobs, but if you ask me in a few months, I’ll give you a full depth chart prediction.
Not enough has been said of the Bears’ issue at center. Does the team have adequate depth behind Roberto Garza? – Tom Cook, via Google+
As of right now, the Bears definitely do not have a clear future at center, and Roberto Garza is a ripe 34. But what the Bears do seemingly have is depth among offensive lineman in general, and I think Aaron Kromer will be looking for someone to fit the bill should they need to look elsewhere for help at center. P.J. Lonergan or Edwin Williams could be that guy, but I wouldn’t be surprised if another name emerges. They’re by no means set at the position, and it will remain an area of concern until they find the answer.
What kind of philosophical changes did Marc Trestman make in going from the NFL to the CFL, and what kind of changes will he need to make to revert back? Is he capable of doing so? – Shaun Leistikow, via Google+
I think some of the biggest changes that were made had to do more with the differences between the two games. For example, the CFL is a three-down, pass-driven league. They don’t really use tight ends up in Canada either, and both of those things were a transition for Trestman when he left the NFL and will be a transition coming back to the NFL. But guys like Trestman are ever-evolving, so I don’t think we have to worry about him not fitting in with the current ebbs and flows of the modern NFL. He’s capable.
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Filed under: QandA